Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Diary Entry 69: Saigon, Monday Night, 27 September 1965

                                                                                                     Monday Night, 27 September 1965

Tonight I feel a little sad.  [Colonel] Jim Simmons who was Director of the Department of Larger Unit Operations at Leavenworth when I was there, is here in Vietnam and has been the commanding officer of the 2d Brigade of the 1st Infantry Division.  I have mentioned him in several previous entries.  Today he was relieved of his command for unsatisfactory performance and lack of leadership by General [John] Throckmorton [Deputy Commander, MACV].  I saw and talked with Colonel Simmons this afternoon right after he was relieved; reckon he wanted a friend to talk to.  Never saw a man so hurt.  Deep down inside he is a dead man now, because he has been judged a failure at a job he has trained himself to do all the time he’s been in the military service---to command.  I sure did feel sorry for him.  All the time I’ve known him to be a thoroughly outstanding officer.  But I reckon the general just did not like him.  So tonight I’ve been kinda thinking about how hurt he must be.

 Finished up work this afternoon (Ha!) at 7:30 p.m. and did not feel like going to eat at one of the BOQs.  So I fixed some peanut butter and jelly crackers and some pineapple juice in the room for supper.  Tasted all right, but want to buy a grill and a hot plate to fix better suppers.  Cheese and crackers get old after a while!  Will get a good breakfast at the Rex tomorrow morning. 

So far I have met only one other officer on the same floor as I’m on.  His name is Lieutenant Colonel [Joseph] Fant and he is an advisor with the Capital Military Region (i.e., around Saigon).  Seems to be a nice fellow.

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